Mittwoch, 2. November 2016

Blood Debt (Judah Black Novels) - E. A. Copen

Every life has a price. 

Tasked with policing the supernaturals on a reservation in Paint Rock, Texas, Judah Black’s unconventional methods have made her unpopular with her superiors in Washington. She's just one bad day away from losing everything, including her son.

Things only get worse after a foreign vampire is murdered and the victim’s powerful cousin vows to find the killer himself. All evidence points to another vampire, Kim Kelley, as the killer but bringing her in could spark an international war. 

And turn Paint Rock into ground zero. 

But Kim’s got her own debt to settle, one that involves Judah’s new protégé, Mara. Caught in the middle of a power struggle between two hostile vampire factions, Judah must navigate a complicated web of alliances and bring a killer to justice…all before she picks her son up from school.

My thoughts:

I loved book 1, Guilty by Association, so I was excited when I saw that book 2 was available. Unfortunately I wasn't able to read it straight away, because I was too busy, but it was so worth the wait!

E. A. Copen hooked me in right from the start. “There was blood on the ceiling.” Just like in book 1, Judah is in the middle of a grisly murder scene, doing her job as a BSI agent.

And with that hook, she kept me reading. I couldn't put the book down. We get introduced to new characters (half-vampire Abe and elf Creven for example!) and to new and even scarier monsters than in the last book. Hunter makes a few appearances too, just like Saloso and the rest of the werewolves. Things with Saloso become a bit tense, a bit complicated and I can't wait to see where Ms Copen takes the journey with those two.

We are also introduced to Judah’s new protégé, Mara, who is a troubled teen with supernatural powers and who seems to be smack in the middle of the trouble.

I think part of the allure of these books is that Ms Copen does not stick with the “regular” monsters that are so popular, but uses so many different mythologies and does so brilliantly.

All in all a solid second book. Can't wait for book 3!

Sonnet Vale: Paranormal Hunter - Gena D. Lutz

Paranormal hunter, Sonnet Vale, has the unique ability to hunt and kill vampires. But a chance encounter with a handsome stranger is about to change everything, teaching Sonnet what it's like to be hunted and possessed.

My thoughts:

I could not put the book down! Sonnet Vale is a huntress who was hired to find a missing girl. I did have some issues with Gena D. Lutz overexplaining things (mentioning them over and over as if scared that a reader might miss them), but apart from that, it's an enjoyable read.

And I love the cover! Props to the artist.

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes (Rose Gardner Mystery) - Denise Grover Swank

“It all started when I saw myself dead.” For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad even before she sees a vision of herself dead. She’s had plenty of visions, usually boring ones like someone’s toilet’s overflowed, but she’s never seen one of herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered on her sofa instead, two things are certain: There isn't enough hydrogen peroxide in the state of Arkansas to get that stain out, and Rose is the prime suspect. Rose realizes she’s wasted twenty-four years of living and makes a list on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt: twenty-eight things she wants to accomplish before her vision comes true. She’s well on her way with the help of her next door neighbor Joe, who has no trouble teaching Rose the rules of drinking, but won’t help with number fifteen-- do more with a man. Joe’s new to town, but it doesn’t take a vision for Rose to realize he’s got plenty secrets of his own. Somebody thinks Rose has something they want and they’ll do anything to get it. Her house is broken into, someone else she knows is murdered, and suddenly, dying a virgin in the Fenton County jail isn’t her biggest worry after all.

My thoughts:

I couldn't put this book down. Denise Grover Swank is so amazing at keeping people in the dark, I found myself racing through the pages trying to find out who Rose could trust and who lied to her. I couldn't figure Joe out until the end. Suspenseful, funny, sweet and surprising!

The characters feel real. No one is purely black or white, apart from the onion fanatic (eww). Even though Rose starts out as a weak person, she sure soon shows her strength. She is a likable person and I found myself cheering for her.
And Muffy was adorable.

Denise Grover Swank sure has a way with words.

Can't wait to read the second one.

Created Darkly (Kris Chase) - Gena D. Lutz

Necromancer Kris Chase's purpose is simple. Blindly raise the dead for the primary elite, self necro-governed group, the Center. The problem is, she couldn't care less about what the Center expects from her. Instead, she is more content with snuffing out the life-force from every vile creature she can get her hands on; the same monsters her brethren indiscriminately create… for the right price. Until the life of someone dear to her is threatened. With the stakes raised insurmountably, she finds herself bound by desperation to create the very darkness she always fought against being consumed by, going against everything she has ever believed in.

My thoughts:

I originally bought the book because I adore the cover art. It is beautiful, the red shirt a lovely contrast the the otherwise cold colors and I really wanted to know what the story is about. There might be some spoilers in the review, so read at own risk.

Starting with the positive:

- The cover, like I already mentioned it's fantastic.- I love the beginning of the novel, as Kris starts out as a strong woman who takes down a much more powerful creature than herself all alone.- Her ghostly room mate is cute. I really hope to read more of him.- The premise is very interesting. Having human Creators make vampires is new and I like the idea. Especially the idea that Creators can also kill vampires by touching them.- Rafe, the vampire is funny and I really liked him.- Kris being able to Mark her creations is interesting and I'd love to know more about it.

Things I felt needs some more work:

- The novel was written in 1st person, but both from Kris' point of view and that of her love interest Rush. The problem is, there is no indication whose chapter we are on. Though Ms Lutz doesn't headjump mid-chapter and there are breaks between shifting to another character, there should be a clear indication who is talking. The way Ms Lutz handles it here might work in 3rd person, but not 1st.- I did not like Rush. I felt zero connection to him and he'd been killed off mid-novel I wouldn't have cared. I was just waiting for him to start growling as soon as another male looks in Kris' direction, he was so possessive, it was unsexy and made me really dislike him.- I felt as if Kris was a lot more focused on getting into Rush' pants than finding her sister Torra or getting herself though situations safely. I like it when my female lead can also function without the guy.- The scene where the bride of Devil gave Kris new clothes when they first meet in the bathroom and EVERYONE stares at Kris because she wears a skirt. Even the people who didn't even know her. While the cover model really is a beauty, the club was packed with loads of beautiful women. It was unrealistic that each and every person would stare. You know what is sexy? A woman who is confident in whatever she is wearing. Even dirty, torn clothing, that became dirty and torn because she just raised a vampire. And after something happens at the club, Kris needs new clothes yet again. It really stagnates the plot.- The lead character should drive the plot. While Kris had loads of fancy powers, it was the bad guy Wolf who drove the plot. Kris was never a step ahead of him.- Unfortunately I felt there was a lot of telling and not showing and at times I thought the author wasn't confident that people will be able to follow her plot. In one instance one of the characters, Druska, tells Kris that she is looking for Torra "your sister." Yes, a character was telling the main character that she was also looking for Torra and felt the need to add that it's the main character's sister.- The characters tended to sound really dramatic. There was a whole lot of "HIS WOMAN" and a lot of trying to sound badass, but having nothing to back it up.In the end I did like the book, but with a bit more decent editing it could have been amazing. I will buy more books by Ms Lutz, as she has a lot of interesting ideas (and I would love those amazing covers on my shelves).


A World of My Own - A Short Story Fantasy for All Ages - Becca Bates

A rough life leaves Marie desperate for a way of escape. When she and her secret crush find a portal to the magical land of Sonara, it seems she has found just that. Now, she has everything she could want except the sister she left behind. Determined to save her from their abusive stepfather, Marie sets out to bring her sister with her to a new home, but Sonara may not be the idyllic land she dreamed of.

My thoughts:

A World of My Own is based on Alice in Wonderland but a compelling tale of its own. The heroine is a huge fan the Lewis Carroll novel and is thrilled when she learns that she is to play Alice in a school play.

Unfortunately things at home don't look so good for Marie, with her mother not speaking due to trauma and her step-father being abusive. So she spends her days taking care of her younger sister Lily, daydreaming and school.

Things go downward when the play is cancelled. High School cutie Leo offers Marie a ride home and suddenly they find themselves in a cave following a strange light and ending up in some sort of Wonderland.
I can't really tell any more without spoiling something, but the Wonderland Becca describes is magical and enchanting.
The story is well worth its money.